Diavolo – The superheroes of dance
BEAVER CREEK – Flying and falling, flying and falling. There are easier jobs to have.But members of performing arts company Diavolo aren’t particularly interested in what’s easy, as their body of work proves. The inventive and qualified performers take to the Vilar Center stage Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.Diavolo explores the relationship humans have with their environment, be it things or other people. The dances manage to be many things – cerebral, exciting, intensely physical, even shocking. And audiences of all ages are responding to them.”Kids have great imaginations,” said Company Manager and Technical Director Jeremy Jacobs. “They make up their own story about what we’re doing. We’re not trying to beat a theme into anybody.”
Founded more than a decade ago in Los Angeles, the dance company is still gaining popularity.”We’ve been called the NFL of dance, or even superheroes,” exclaimed Welsh. “It’s because we fly, we literally fly across the stage – and not on wires.”The dancers undergo epic journeys during a show, and they take the audience with them.”All of my training goes into what I’m doing now,” said Jones Welsh, a performer.His background in athleticism, theater and improvisational dance are all tools for his work in Diavolo.
Jacobs used to be a performer with the company. The physically grueling work limits the longevity of dancers’ careers in much the same way any professional sports does. But because he enjoys the company so much he elected to stay on. He’s got an insider’s knowledge of what the sets have to do for the dancers.”I love the ensemble,” said Jacobs. “There are no divas, we work together as a team, and there’s such a high level of trust. There has to be.”The work itself is sustaining, both physically and mentally. Stasis is a dirty word. Pieces are constantly evolving, be it through performer changes or choreography adaptations. In this way, nothing is ever finished and put away – the repertoire remains alive.As important and visually stimulating to the performance is the set. Banish all thoughts of bare stages or painted backdrops – the dialogue begins with function and form.
Because Diavolo travels, part of the set design process is to create props that can be assembled and disassembled with a minimum of time. The elements have to be light enough to be portable, but strong enough to bear the weight – and sustain the lives – of the acrobatic performers.And they have to be compelling – just as the dances are compelling.For more information on the company visit http://www.diavolo.org.Vail, Colorado